An unnatural selection


If you’d told me in the spring of 2007 that if I could just tolerate having my eyes & brains gouged out for five years that everything would be alright, I’d have told you to go take a mass leap. Five years is a long time…

Well, the good news is in that blissful season of 2007 I wouldn’t have believed you anyway. And what I wouldn’t believe couldn’t hurt me, right?  We Realtors were doing backflips in early 2007, giggling like schoolgirls and making money hand-over-fist. Buying stuff. Flying places. Advertising. Eating. We were coming off five years of the highest times on-record, selling homes and getting paid at a pace never before imagined. The Bellingham real estate rush was in high gear, and there was no reason to think it wouldn’t last forever.

No reason, of course, other than common sense. Also the law of gravity. You know– the one that says “what goes up must come down?” DAMN those common sense gravity laws, anyway!  They’ve been the downers of all the great parties in civilization– ancient Rome, Paris in the ’20s, Max’s Kansas City. Drat!

The bad news, of course, is that it did come down. Hard. There’s no reason to weep here about what’s been documented in such violent detail for the past five years elsewhere concerning the housing market crash/ great recession/ global financial crisis.  Surviving in these pre-apocalyptic times requires a strong shot of denial with a chaser of optimism, and we here at the Electric Kool-Aid Real Estate Test will be first at the bar for a doubleshot of  la-la-la if it means we don’t have to get a real job.

But five years later, our eyes and brains have about been gouged clean out…

But back to the good news– eyes and brains are regenerative! Most people don’t know that, but it’s true. At least in real estate. It’s factually true that if a Realtor’s eyes and brains are viciously gouged out for five years, given another five years they will have grown back.

And it feels like it’s happening. Even if my eyes and brains have not been fully-restored to their pre-crash conditions, I do feel like the gouging has at least stopped. Sales volume is up. There is a change in both the quantity AND quality of new inventory, even since Independence Day ( when the sun finally showed up, remember? ). Market times are down dramatically, and many clean & well-priced homes are selling in fistfights– a house in Northern Heights pended today in a shootout featuring eight offers. Some would even dare to suggest prices are up.

It’s probably a bit early to start ordering two lobsters at a time, but the market is definitely shifting. Is it sustainable? Dunno. Depends on the shadow inventory and whether money stays cheap. Maybe the election. Unemployment, sure. Spain, Italy, China of course. The Royal Order of Buffalos. MADD. Brad & Angolena. There’s a lot of factors.

It’s been a punishing five years, but there’s a lot of thumbs up around the water cooler ( just like on FaceBook! ) and who am I to argue? Plus things could always be worse, like for this rat who literally had his eyes and brains pecked out by a crow ten times its size.

I was showing a house in Brownsville in Junuary, and when my clients & I rolled up to the house, there was a black lump right in the middle of the street that we thought was a huge dog poop. As we got closer, we realized it was a small rat ( which is roughly the size of a huge dog poop ) just motionless in the middle of the street. It was either dead or very clever ( “they’ll never look for me here…” ) and since none of us had ever heard of a clever rat, we assumed it was dead. We went into the house. It was a 70s split that hadn’t had as much as a lightbulb changed since it was new. My buyers rolled their eyes.

One of them looked out the dining room window, though, and we all observed what is captured on this startling iphone video, never before seen until now.

My video missed the early stage of the struggle, the cat-and-mouse game that we will refer to here as the crow-and-rat game. It didn’t last long, literally as long as it took me to take my phone out of my pocket and start filming. Turns out the American Yard Crow isn’t much for games, and after the rat had done a couple of scurry away then play dead sequences, the crow just mounted it and began pecking out its eyes and brains like a sewing machine. And then, the crow picked up its blind & dumb victim in its beak and flew away with it. 

I’d never seen anything like it. I’d never seen a crow eat anything other than garbage or stuff that something else ( like a car ) had already killed. I didn’t know they hunted and ate warm brains. As you are aware, I despise crows. But as I watched the great black bird disappear over the roof of the house ( listed for $274,500– it will never sell for this price ) I felt my own black heart softening some to what may be the most widely misunderstood member of our indigenous Pacific Northwest killing chain.

I don’t believe the eyes and brains of rats are regenerative. Not unless they hold a real estate license. Plus I have a feeling the treatment the crow and his cronies gave this poor twitching mammal once they got it out of the middle of the street made the ass-kicking administered in public look like a foot massage. Crows 1; dog poop-sized rats 0.

So, you know– it could be worse.


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